This Obamacare matter has gone from tragic corruptive schemes, to what resembled a shenanigan’s deal with the federal courts, until now as the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) begins a series of minute precautions that ostensiby could lead our country forward to what she has been — the biggest and the brightest — or lead her off to the “tragic Kingdom.”
All of us here at some point during this debachable have gotten confused primarily because of the reporting or lack thereof by the mainstream-media as well as lies and fabricated stories from Democrats who support this matter without using their heads.
Therefore whenever in doubt — find the time, due diligence, and critical thinking — and sign in immediately to the Heritage Foundation and make certain you visit their blog, The Foundry.
On Monday—two years after President Obama signed Obamacare into law—the Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the health law’s constitutionality. Heralded as the case of the century, the oral arguments heard and, ultimately, the Court’s decisions will set the precedent for hundreds of future legal rulings. They also will determine if there are any limits left to what the federal government can require regarding personal and private decisions.
From its inception, Obamacare has faced challenges on legal and moral grounds.
In fact, Heritage analysts were among the first to explain why the individual mandate that all Americans buy government-approved health insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional.
It’s no wonder that legal challenges from the majority of the states and other organizations began pouring in shortly after the law’s passage. As these lawsuits worked their way through the district and federal appellate courts, conflicting decisions resulted, leading to the Supreme Court taking up the case.
Beginning Monday, the Court will hear six hours of arguments—six times the length allotted for most cases. In recent decades, the Court has generally set a maximum of 60 minutes for oral argument in each case (usually divided 30 minutes per side). In fact since World War II, very few cases have been allowed more than four hours; the biggest exception in the last sixty years was Brown v. Board of Education. The Court’s decision to allow six hours of oral arguments for Obamacare is another indicator of the case’s severity.
The Supreme Court will consider four main questions when the Obamacare cases come before the bench. And the answers to those questions will determine whether all, some, or none of Obamacare will remain in force after the Court’s decision.
Issues the Court Will Decide:
The justices will decide if the Anti-Injunction Act will prohibit states and other parties from challenging the individual mandate.
The Court will determine if the individual mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.
The Court will decide if the mandate, if ruled unconstitutional, can be severed from the Affordable Care Act.
The Court will rule if Congress exceeded its enumerated powers under the Spending Clause and violated basic federalism principles by placing heavy regulations on states that receive Medicaid funding.
Given the complexity and amount of legal issues at play, Heritage scholars Robert Alt director of Heritage’s Rule of Law programs and a senior legal fellow, and Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow in Heritage’s center for health policy studies, have written a paper that provides a guide to the issues before the Court, potential rulings and what the possible rulings could mean as far as health policy impacts to the private health sector and public health programs. The information below offers a snapshot and roadmap to their paper.
While the Court may not rule until as late as June 30, this week will provide important insights to the considerations before the Court. Whatever the Supreme Court ultimately decides, Heritage health experts note it will not result in good health care policy. Congress will need to repeal Obamacare and seek patient-centered, and market-based health system reforms like those put forward in The Heritage Foundation’s long-term fiscal plan, Saving the American Dream.
First Issue: Anti-Injunction Act (AIA)
The first issue before the Supreme Court is the Anti-Injunction Act, which is a technical tax question. It is a law that bars lawsuits challenging the tax before the tax has been paid. There are two ways this issue could play out:
Option 1: The Court finds that the Anti-Injunction Act precludes it from going to the question of the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
This means that the individual mandate would be implemented in 2014, and Americans would be required to buy health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. The constitutionality of the mandate could still be challenged, but it would have to be by someone who refused to obtain coverage and paid the penalty in 2015.
Under this theory, the Court wouldn’t reach the second and third issues (questions on individual mandate and its severability from Obamacare), but could still consider the fourth issue (the constitutionality of the Medicaid provisions).
Please understand that there are Four Provisions within this law and each carry an Option 1 and Option 2 designate. We will try to publish all of the Issues along with their Options.